The Sunday porch: South Beach

South Beach porch, 1973, via Natl. Archives“Inexpensive retirement hotels are a hallmark of the South Beach area [of Miami Beach, Florida]. A favored place is the front porch, where residents sit and chat or watch the activities on the beach.”

South Beach, c. 1975, via Natl. Archives

These c. 1975  pictures* (shown here with their original captions) were taken by Flip Schulke for DOCUMERICA — a photography program created in late 1971 by the brand new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA hired over 100 photographers to “document subjects of environmental concern.”  The work continued until 1977 and left behind an archive of about 20,000 images.

In addition to recording damage to the nation’s landscapes, the project captured “the era’s trends, fashions, problems, and achievements,” according to the U.S. National Archives, which held an exhibit of the photos, “Searching for the Seventies,” in 2013. 

South Beach, c. 1975, via Natl. Archives“One of the many residential hotels for retired people living on small incomes. . . . The front porch is a favorite retreat.”

South Beach, c. 1975, via Natl. Archives“Income of the retirees in this area is not high, and most live in residential hotels such as the one pictured here.”

There are more pictures from DOCUMERICA here.


*Via the U.S. National Archives Commons on flickr.

4 thoughts on “The Sunday porch: South Beach

  1. Having been to South Beach in the past few years, I think there is less of this going on, and judging from the people I saw on the streets, in the cafes and sitting on porches, it is a whole new clientele.

    1. I imagine it is more young, more moneyed, more hip. I hope a lot of the mid-century buildings remain.

      I was last in Miami, very briefly, in 1987 — passing through when my husband was posted to Caracas. I liked it and would like to visit again one day.

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